In the Grinberg Method, we divide the four elements into active and passive elements. Fire and air are active elements: fast, giving, externally focused. Water and earth are the passive elements, becoming progressive slower, concerned with our capacity to be receptive, to rest and be still.
My hypothesis, based on my experience, and that of my former colleagues and my clients, is that we are as a society and individually, over-active and under-passive. Living in a city, surrounded by the products of air and fire in the form of buildings, roads, cars, buses, kept busy by our electronic devices, we lose connection with our passive elements. We don’t know what rest means. Even when we rest our minds are busy. We search for solutions, such as mindfulness, or yoga, but can’t sustain the sense of space and silence that these give us when we are back in our lives.
We need the balance that the passive qualities give us – strong earth keeps us grounded when the world is chaotic, strong water enables us to receive and digest our experience, to know ourselves in a passive way, and let go of what is not good for us.
I think of it in this way. We want to be able to flow, like a river, with our experience and lives. A river has a riverbed, made up of rocks, stone, mountain matter, and without this substance, the water would drain away into the earth and there would be no river. We are like the river, we need a strong base, a foundation of stability, and then we can flow, and from there we can be active, in a healthy way.